How to be an early bird
Fancy becoming a morning person? Find out how
Let’s face it, most of us love our sleep, so the idea of losing zzzs might make you baulk. But rising early can really make a difference; early risers are typically a healthier weight, happier, and less likely to suffer from insomnia. That’s not all – it’s suggested that motivation and willpower are stronger too. Sounds good to us!
There are some big benefits to waking up early. It usually guarantees you some quiet time first thing in the morning when there tend to be fewer distractions, so it’s the perfect time to prepare your lunch or do a workout. Research also shows that the imaginative part of your brain is most active immediately after sleep, so you might benefit from getting the creative juices flowing first thing too.
How to do it
Not sure where to start? Here are some simple ways to help train yourself to be an early bird:
Start gently – don’t change your wake-up time too drastically at first. Try getting up just 15 minutes earlier for a couple of weeks, then half an hour earlier, until you’ve found the time that works for you.
Get technical – your smartphone could help you get into the early-rising habit. One way is with the Sleep Cycle* app, which uses motion sensors to determine the best time of the morning to wake you so you feel fully rested. Alternatively, try using a vibrating alarm clock to help you wake up – the Fitbit Charge 2 has a silent alarm feature that vibrates gently on your wrist.
Let the light in – studies show that waking up to light helps us feel more refreshed, alert and happier. So, when there’s an early sunrise, try sleeping with your curtains open. But winter’s no excuse to ditch the dawn wake-up - you can cheat a sunrise with the light-emitting Lumie Bodyclock Go.
How to stay on track
It can be tough trying to stick to a new routine, but these tips might help you keep it up:
Check the temperature – a restful sleep is essential for an alert morning. Most experts agree that the ideal room temperature is between 15°C and 19°C – anything too high or low is likely to disrupt your sleep. Check the temperature of your bedroom with the NSA Digital Hygrometer and Thermometer.
Start with a smoothie – not just delicious, but having a smoothie for breakfast could really set you up for the day – especially if it includes a banana! Bananas slowly release energy, which can help to keep you going throughout the morning. They also contain tryptophan, an amino acid the body uses to help make serotonin which modulates your mood – here’s to happier mornings! Check out the recipe for our Nut Butter & Vanilla Smoothie.
Banish the eye bags – if puffy eyes and dark circles are putting you off being an early bird, try a cooling, soothing cream such as Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream. Its blend of peptides helps combat the visible effects of a busy life.
*Available to download for free from the iPhone and Android app stores.